We are in talks with Kriti Tula, the designer of our current favorite ethical brand Doodlage. India’s first upcycling fashion line made with the ethos of creating environment-friendly products, which was high on style. And boy! are they stylish! Check it out for yourself and read her story ……
Tell us about your brand? What do you guys do?
The brand started with a simple concept of upcycling industrial fabric waste and scraps which include mis-prints, deadstock, post-cutting waste and end of the line fabrics from large garment and fabric manufacturers. Saving this solid waste from ending up in landfills and energy consuming incineration processes was the goal. We use all of this fabric, which is largely a by-product of garment manufacturers, both big and small, to create many short collections. But this doesn’t mean you are compromising on quality. Durability and great quality remain our focus. Fabric scraps produced in our own unit are further shredded to create textured fabrics which are used in making our home and accessories collections. We work to be a zero-waste set-up.
What inspired you to start your brand?
The alarming condition of the fashion industry today and its impact on the environment has generated a need for brands that work on sustainable fashion with a holistic view. After working for some years in mass production, designing, advertising and managing within the fashion industry; it was unavoidable for me to recognize the horrors and the wastage inherent in fast fashion market which encourages people to buy more constantly.
What is your brand ethos?
We aim to incorporate ethical practices in all aspects of our work.
Ethical fashion is not just a philosophy for us. It is the bedrock on which our brand is built.
We are responsible, conscious but we are also quirky, exclusive and irresistible! We are not just about recycled paper bags or working on betterment of the condition of artisans. We are all this and more!
Why do you think Sustainability in fashion is essential?
As Fashion Revolution rightly puts it ‘We love clothes but not at the cost of the people or the planet’. The production and consumption of fashion today is leading to big irreversible changes around us. Working towards sustainable practices is extremely essential, whether within the fashion industry or outside it.
Fashion today is the second most polluting industry in the world. It is also one of the largest employers in the world. What goes on in the creation of fashion has direct implications on the health of the people who create your clothes. Use of pesticides and hazardous chemicals from the production processes which are mostly released, unprocessed, into groundwater and our water-bodies, is affecting us all in many visible and invisible ways.
Trend focused, impulsive buying behavior amongst consumer and fabric wastage in garment production along with extremely limited garment recycling and upcycling units is all leading to a lot of fabric ending up in landfills. Being exposed to the condition of the fashion industry, I strongly believe that sustainability in the fashion is extremely essential today and it should no longer be segmented as a trend.
What are some of the challenges of being a sustainable brand?
One of the major challenges is consumer awareness. Encourage people to rethink things they have been doing for years is not easy. Creating an alternative supply chain, working from ‘waste’ and sustaining a brand around it, has been a struggle. Finding a team of people and a consumer base who believes in the vision and the cause has been a slow process but we are surely making a headway.
What do you envision for your brand in the coming years?
In the near future, our focus is going to be on making the website stronger, reaching out to more people about the work we do and building a community around it.
We eventually hope to move closer to the concept of recycle, repair and reuse.
Biggest milestone for the brand?
I am grateful that prestigious platforms like Grazia Young Fashion awards, Green wardrobe initiative, Lakme fashion week Gen Next designer, who have recognized and rewarded the work we are doing. We also cherish our collaborations with Fab India, Creo Store, Brahma Karma, Aavaran. We are still growing brand though with an aim to reach many more milestones.
Which other sustainable brands do you think does a great job?
Reformation, Eco age, Patagonia and Everlane are my personal favourites.
What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability for me is a way of life. It is about looking beyond yourself and being conscious of the decisions you make in your daily life and how they impact the world you live in.
It is about taking responsibility for your actions no matter how big or small. It is about recognizing that the time for action is now and every one of us can make a difference, for the better.